This week, my daughter and I were invited to the U.S. Open to learn about Quick Start Tennis, an exciting new play format to help children under 10 to learn and play tennis.
First of all, I really like playing tennis and have been contemplating having my daughter take up the sport so we can begin playing together. But.... I have realized that teaching my daughter is not easy. She likes to do things her way, don't all independent kids. So the idea of teaching her tennis and playing with her at age 6 seems like an act in futility as well as testing my patience. I have visions of John McEnroe like temper tantrums (from us both), throwing rackets and balls around the court in frustration and thus defeating the purpose of having a sport we can do together.
So I was super excited to try the new format in the hopes that we could actually make my dream come true.
The Quick Start format is designed to bring kids into the game, using specialized equipment and shorter court dimensions tailored to the age and size of your child.
During the demonstration, my daughter and I were really able to see, learn and practice how the game would be taught. I have to say that I thought it was pretty easy. The best part was she enjoyed learning the game and so did the other children at the event. The exercises they taught us, sneakily introduced how you should hit the ball, how to stand to get ready for your opponent's shot and how to keep the kids engaged. Super important in keeping them motivated to play. What fun is is if you have to keep chasing the ball around a court, right? The fact that the court is shorter really does make a difference.
I have to say that this new format was so much easier way then when I learned to play. I could see how you could really keep a rally going.
I am happy that the United States Tennis Association (USTA) has really worked to bring this new format to everyone. Currently, there are more than 1,000 sites that have begun implementing the QuickStart Tennis format.
Tennis is a really great game and needs to be encouraged amongst the under 10 set otherwise, who will be the next Serena, Venus or Andy Roddick? Even if your child doesn't aspire to me the next U.S. Open Champion at the minimum, it's a game both of you can do together.
To get more information on QuickStartTennis, go to www.quickstarttennis.com.
FYI, if there is not a QuickStartTennis program in your area, the website gives you details on how to start a program. I know some of you moms are much more organized and involved in your community so not having a program shouldn't deter you.
I reviewed the video and it is super simple to set up (the kids actually can do it themselves) the court at an existing tennis program.
Get and out play, I am.